They Come and They Go

I was a young, green technician.  Leonard was a battle-scarred veteran, that hired on in the middle fifties.

Leonard had been around for a long time. Long enough to see many managers come and go.  Just a few years away from a full pension, he didn’t scare easily.

It seemed his workplace was the proving ground for new managers. New managers introduced ceremoniously by parades of other managers. “I love a parade,” Leo muttered under his breath.

In the military, newly commissioned officers were called “jet jobs.”  Would this newbie adhere to the script? Probably. Crack down at first, to show who was in charge, then slack off a bit.

New managers started by riding along with specially selected employees. The purpose was to get acquainted, also, to suggest more efficient ways to work.

Leonard was wise to such tactics. He’d listen to suggestions, then explain pros and cons, why these new methods wouldn’t work in the real world.

Wait long enough, this manager would be gone–just like the rest of them. Kicked upstairs, transferred, or sent wherever. Because managers came and went–you could count on it.

Mimicry (Not Always Flattering)

Throwing rocks with friends.  Your little sister or brother, not to be left out, threw a rock straight up, it landed on their head.  Activities ended predictably, when sister or brother went home crying.

“You were supposed to be watching your sibling.  What kind of example were you setting?  Did you see that big bump on your little brother’s noggin? No more rock throwing.  Up to your room, young man!”

Sub-zero winter temperatures, media outlets showed people throwing pans of boiling water into the air, demonstrating water’s immediate vaporization.

More that a half-dozen imitators were injured attempting the same stunt.  “Don’t try this at home.”  How many times has that been said?

Peppa Pig and friends, a cartoon, popular among toddlers, and the younger set.  The characters speak in British dialect.  Parents have been surprised by their toddlers doing things “straightaway,” wanting to go on “holiday.”

Mimicry could be far worse.  Ersatz Road Runners, “Beep-beeped,” on playgrounds all over the country in the sixties.

“Hey, Hey, Boo Boo.”  Of course that was Yogi Bear, the famed picnic basket scavenger from Jellystone Park.

Bad Donald Duck imitators were among the worst.

Porky, long before Peppa, stuttered.  Don’t stand near imitators, for fear of inevitable spittle baths, from all those “P’s.” in P-P-Porky P-P-Pig.

 

 

 

Chim, Chim, Chiree

A recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times suggested, maybe it was time to scrutinize the Mary Poppins musical for unfair portrayal of African-Americans.

Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke will always be the main characters in my thinking. What was it about the two loveable chimney sweeps, the NYT author found offensive?

They danced and sang with soot smeared on their faces. Did the production deserve to be painted as racist?  Main characters, who were white, danced across rooftops.  Was it too similar to minstrel shows, where whites in blackface, exaggerated African-American speech and mannerisms for the sake of humor?

I didn’t see the connection. And from an informal survey, I don’t think very many other people did, either.  This fanciful, musical, romp from the past did not smack of racial insensitivity, in my opinion.  If the author’s intent was to be controversial, for controversies sake, It certainly fit the bill.

Image, http://www. culturecustodian.com/

Commemorating Trivialities


This day was officially designated National Trivia Day 2019. It’s a shame I missed it–since I have more useless tidbits rattling around my head, than useful information.

Most of my trivial knowledge is geared toward the baby boomer generation. That’s what I remember most. For Andy Griffith Show fans–did you know there was another “Floyd the barber” before the later, more familiar one?

What was Donald Duck’s car license plate number? It was 1313. Was it important to know this? I don’t know. Maybe, to impress others with my vast knowledge, of things I thought were important.

Did anyone else notice that cartoon characters had one thumb and three fingers? Don’t believe me? Check out the “Helping Hand” character in Hamburger Helper commercials.

It’s ironic that I never remember obscure days, like National Trivia Day.  Could it be they’re just too trivial for me to remember?

Time Standards

Red Rover, Red Rover
Send that missing
Hour, right over
The one, that disappeared
Last spring–except it didn’t
Really go anywhere
Other village people
Demanded proof
the hour would return
as promised
“It will get here–
when, It gets here.”
Exclaimed village elders
“Don’t ask us to repeat”

 

More Dad Jokes

Dad jokes were more a category, than an exclusive genre of humor.

Other people told “Dad Jokes.”  Favorite aunts, uncles, teachers and preachers, told “Dad Jokes.”  Preachers told them because they weren’t nasty or dirty.

They were corny, plays on words, terrible puns, paraphrases.  From various sources,  TV shows, pop culture–long out of fashion.  Slips of the tongue, held against you for the next forty years.

It was Uncle Elmer, or others like him.  You stayed still, listened, no matter how many times you’d heard the same things before.  Inside, silently screamed for mercy.

I’m full. You’re a fool?

I’m stuffed.  Well, you look real.

Leave me alone. Make you a loan?

Don’t want to talk?  Cat got your tongue?

The rain in Maine fell plainly on the grain.

You’re mixed up. Your nose runs and your feet smell.

The calf near a silo, Was his fodder in there?

Why did the boy call his girlfriend “Hinges”?  Because she was something to adore.

A schoolboy, asked to use “fascinate” in a sentence, My shirt has ten buttons, I can only fasten eight.

Most of the “Dad Jokes” stopped as time passed.  I would gladly endure more “Dad Jokes,” if it meant having the joke tellers back.

Between the Lines

I suspect that many times we don’t like things–not because of what they are, but rather, because of the packages they came in.

This also applies to people and their messages. Would you rather listen to me–a balding, overweight, senior citizen. Or, Jenna Elfman–you know, Dharma, from “Dharma and Greg.”

Corporations change packaging constantly. Brighter, bolder, graphics, shout New!, Improved!, Better than ever before! Are you like me–suspicious? Same old product inside, with new clothes?

Something that isn’t same old, same old is our weather.  Winter storm warnings are up for the Gulf Coast.

It’s uncommon, but not a rarity to see snow here.  Most of it will melt before hitting the ground.  TV weatherpersons have been busy.  An hour or so north of here, there has been a light snow dusting.  Nothing to get bent out of shape over.